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Yoko Ono to launch billboard artwork on Earth Day

Alex Green
·2-min read

Yoko Ono is to mark Earth Day by broadcasting a message of environmental conservation on billboards across the UK.

As part of the global activities next week, the performance artist and widow of John Lennon, 88, will launch her artwork I Love You Earth at various public locations.

The artwork is Ono’s contribution to Serpentine’s multi-year project Back To Earth, which has invited more than 60 artists, architects, poets, filmmakers, scientists, thinkers and designers to respond to the environmental crisis.

Each work is being displayed throughout the Serpentine Galleries, as well as off-site and online.

I Love You Earth was conceived as a song on Ono’s 1985 album Starpeace and was later transformed into a public artwork.

It is described as “a provocation, setting up an active relationship between artist and viewer” that follows on from the questions and instructions included in Ono’s 1964 book Grapefruit, often referred to as an early example of conceptual art.

Watch: 40 years after Lennon's death, the city that set him free

Ono said: “There are so many of us in the world who are now awakened, ready to act to save our world.

“So let’s work together to save this planet.

“Together.

“That’s how we will change the world.

John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono
John Lennon and Yoko Ono (PA)

“We change, and the world changes.

“Have trust in what you can do.

“Have trust in how fast we can change our world for the better.

“Why?

“Because we have to.

“Believe that we are one and together we will make it.

“Love is what connects all lives on Earth.”

Earth Day, on Thursday April 22, is an annual event to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

Serpentine’s artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist and chief executive Bettina Korek said in a joint statement: “As communities across the UK return to public places in our cities they will be welcomed by Yoko Ono’s powerful positive statement for the planet: I Love You Earth.

“We are so delighted to be able to work with Yoko Ono again as part of our Back To Earth initiative, building on a collaboration spanning three decades including her acclaimed 2012 Serpentine solo exhibition.

“Planned before this global health crisis hit, Back To Earth could not be more urgent now as we work with artists to understand and address our relationship with the earth and everything in it.

“We are very grateful to Clear Channel who have provided the billboards, and to Connor Monahan and Ono’s team, without whose help this project would not have happened.”

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